„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“


17th March 2020

With reference to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the Executive Committee of YMCA Europe has agreed that the planned 2020 General Assembly of YMCA Europe to take place in Brussels, Belgium, on 21 May – 24 May 2020 will be postponed.

This decision to postpone the 2020 General Assembly has been made as a consequence of World Health Organisation advice, actions being taken by national governments to reduce social contact, and the reduction in flights being scheduled be major airlines in Europe for the foreseeable future.  The decision has been made easier considering the risk to the health and safety of delegates attending the 2020 General Assembly and YMCA Europe staff. 

Given the risks posed by this COVID-19 virus outbreak and the different actions being taken by national governments to minimise travel to and from different countries, we are not yet able to reschedule the 2020 General Assembly at this time.  The Secretary General has been asked to explore alternative options in liaison with the YMCA Europe staff team, travel and health advice from the Belgian government for June 2020 and the availability of accommodation in Brussels in June 2020. 

The Executive Committee will consider alternative options and confirm a date for hosting a rescheduled 2020 General Assembly where the necessary governance decisions, elections and legal requirements of our constitution require being completed. The decision taken by the Executive Committee will be shared with all Member and Cooperating Movements, partner organizations and stakeholders.

In the interim, YMCA Europe stands in solidarity with our European YMCA family as we all follow the health and safety recommendations from our relative governments and play our part as a YMCA family and as individuals to minimise the impact and spread of this virus.  At a time of uncertainty, YMCA can give leadership to others and provide support to one another through prayer, regular communication and, where possible, practical support.  Just this week, the Secretary General of the World YMCA sent an email encouraging YMCAs to help mitigate the impact of the spread of the virus by sharing what is being done by YMCAs to keep your spirits up and sustain your YMCA during this time and YMCA Europe would endorse this to inspire and encourage the YMCA family across Europe.

YMCA Europe deeply regrets any inconvenience that this decision will cause but trust that you understand the COVID-19 context that has made this decision necessary at this time.


Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers,

Michael G A Will                Juan Simoes-Iglesias
    President                          Secretary General